Saturday, April 30, 2005

Sepia Tone Goes Digital

By Melissa A. Popp

I'm always amazed at what my digital camera can do. I've had one for close to five months now, and I learn new things about it everyday. Lo and behold a few weeks ago I discovered I could take sepia tone pictures. Now, normally, I'd rather shoot film pictures in black and white, then, sepia tone them myself. There's just more fun going through the trial and error to get the perfect sepia tone picture to hang on your wall.

However, I'm an equal opportunity fan of digital cameras, and I've learned to give my Canon Powershot A85 a chance to prove it's wroth, because so far, it's by far superior to my point-and-shoot Nikon Zoom Touch 400. In fact, the latter is sitting out on the radiator cover basking in a thick layer of dust right about now, because since I bought the digital camera from Sears, it's all I've been using to take pictures, and it's gone with me everywhere.

While reading through the manual, I learned how to take sepia tone pictures with my digital camera, and I decided to go out for a day to shoot nothing but these types of pictures to compare them with some of my hand-made sepia tone portraits. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the Canon took sepia tone pictures, you can even adjust how darker or light you want the picture to be taken, and when the brown fuses with the picture, you can take it over and over again until you have the right shade for your fancy.

When in a photo studio where you are sepia toning a picture, many will tell you it's an unpleasant process. Truth be told, as much as I love it, one sniff of the chemicals is enough to get me wanting to give up. Nevertheless, I stick with it, because this is one of my favorite photo techniques. I've done the sepia tone process enough to be able to do it without the aid of a worksheet, tutorial or instructor by my side. That's how much I love it!

So, imagine to my surprise, how much I love it more now that I don't have to smell chemicals, clean up or mess up every again! I must have taken two hundred sepia tone pictures in that one day to see how well I could match the level of brown accuracy I wanted for each picture. I was, after a few hours, able to capture just the desired effect I wanted in several photos that I now proudly display on my online photo gallery and around my apartment.

When it comes to digital cameras, give every one a chance to prove its worth, because nine out of ten times, it will not only outdo your point-and-click, it will also outdo any developing process you want to run your photographs through for desired effects. Just take your camera outside, start taking pictures and read the manual! You'll be taken some of the most amazing pictures any film camera and developing process could produce in much less time.

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